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June 13, 2004



Does Belle ding when we bop her on the head? That's no pie.


ogged, I refer you to the title of the dessert product: Boston Cream Pie. I grant that it is a pie in name only, being more of a cream-filled spongecake to the untrained eye. Viewed sub specie aeternitatis, who is to say? Possibly the Medium Lobster. I pass over your crude allusion to my name in silence.


Does Belle ding when we bop her on the head? That's no pie.

OK then ogged, in that case I'll have your slice. Mmmm. Boston Cream Pie.


Easy trick to get the cake layer in half: when you have your groove, take a long piece of twine, insert into the groove, cross the ends over and pull gently. Works like a charm.


Has any pie ever been more misnamed?! I looked through all those ingredients, there is no mention of Boston. The question is, as always, what would Godzilla eat, and it's not Boston Cream Pie, I can guarentee you that!

Some people, bad people, claim that Boston Cream Pie was named after its country of origin. This is wrong. Boston Cream Pie as any crazy ranting on the intarweb knows, was first built in Philadelphia by our hostess' namesake, the great heroine of '76, Libertaire Belle! It was built not in Boston or of Boston, but to protect Boston from the Britainers and also their groupies, the hessian chicks. Libertaire Belle was a french girl who had a thing for Lafayette, and came over to help the U.S fight for something or other. I think it was money, but it might have been cake. I remember when the philadelphians tried to eat the pie, she said let them eat cake, which considering she was giving up her own supply in the cause of our freedom was pretty big of her. And quite contrary to solid Libertarian principles I might add.

So let us use this day in rememberance of a true american heroine from France, Libertaire Belle. God bless her, every bit.


I refute you thus: a toy gun is not a gun; a silk flower is not a flower; a Boston Cream Pie is not a pie. We of unfogged are no crude literalists.


You are crazy Mr Ogged. Crazy like a pie-crazed thing! It is obvious you are a crust supremacist and do not recognize crustless pies as "pure." Yours is a cold cold world Mr Ogged. A cold cold world.

I also blogged on Boston cream pies the other day. Independently like Newton and Liebniz!

The Medium Lobster

A toy gun is indeed a gun, FL. The gun's gun-nature is modified by its toy-nature; it is both toy and gun. It is simply a gun which was designed primarily not to fire bullets but to function as a child's plaything.

You will most likely sputter some nonsense about how a gun is designed to fire bullets whereas a toy gun is not. A pellet gun is not designed to fire bullets, nor does a musket; both are guns. You will then counter that these are still designed to fire projectiles; by that definition, airsoft guns, paintball guns, and even some water guns would fit the definition of "gun." And once again, a toy gun is a gun.

You are always welcome to stop by for further lessons from the Medium Lobster.

aeon skoble

"a Boston Cream Pie is not a pie"
Not only that, an "egg cream" contains neither eggs nor cream. There's probably an apt quotation from Wittgenstein that covers this, but I'm sure I don't know it.


My good Fafnir, they don't call it the cold light of reason for nothing. Do you think I wouldn't enjoy living in a world with typing lobsters and crustless pies? But, who knows? Maybe the fantasy world is the real world, after all.

The name Boston Cream Pie is believed to be a misnomer as it really is a cake. Maybe it was due to the fact that in New England the colonists used to bake cakes in pie tins as most people only had pie pans not cake pans. The first reference to Boston Cream Pie was when a New York newspaper in 1855 ran a recipe for a 'pudding pie cake'.


There is no joy in the Joy of Baking an I for one do not consider it an authoritative resource as its own misnaming of itself makes it suspect.

Now if you could cite authoritative texts such as "Alice Through the Looking Glass" or "Goodnight Moon" or "Uncle Pie's World O Pies" then I would take a look.

Fontana Labs

As Aristotle said, we must love the truth more than we love the Medium Lobster. Imagine, if you will, an object made of solid plastic, designed to resemble a handgun and for the sake of a child's amusement. One form of toy gun, in other words. It shoots nothing; it merely resembles another thing that shoots projectiles. Is it a gun? I think it is not, and the honest among us would agree. (I need not deny that some objects are both toys and guns; I need only insist that there are some objects that are toy guns yet not guns.) Yet this is a toy gun. Hence "gun" cannot be inferred from "toy gun." Hence by analogy "pie" cannot be inferred from "Boston Cream Pie." Ordinary language has failed us.

O my Medium Lobster, I believe your tuition bill is past due.

Fontana Labs

More evidence, though I think by now the case is conclusive.

New England is not only the birthplace of the diner but also of Boston Cream Pie. Originating in the early nineteenth century, Boston Pie, as it was then called, was a plain two layer sponge cake filled with a vanilla custard. In 1855, a German-born pastry chef at Boston's Parker House Hotel spruced up the classic cake by adding a luscious chocolate glaze topping and the dessert (now known as Boston Cream Pie) has remained popular to this day. In keeping with the diner tradition of tall cakes, my version consists of four layers filled with a deliciously light custard, leaving you to declare, "Who cares if they call it a pie when it's really a cake?"

And here, or here, or here.

The Medium Lobster

Fontana Labs, I'm afraid you've failed midterms. If a toy gun is a thing that resembles another thing that shoots projectiles, then you make the claim that a toy gun does not shoot projectiles and that a gun does; I offer you the squirt gun, the pop gun, the cap-and-cork gun, the air gun, the paintball gun, the airsoft gun, all of which can fire projectiles and all of which are toys. I'm afraid you must deny that some objects are both toys and guns, because what else is a toy gun? If you can't grasp this elementary grain of knowledge, friend, the Medium Lobster has little hope for you.

And with that, I believe class is dismissed.


I quote from Maxwell's Field Guide to Pies and Crockery:

The Boston Cream Pie split off from the now-extinct Portuguese Pudding Pie in the late 17th century. It is believed that the Boston Cream shed its crust in the mid 18th century as it adapted to become an aquatic species, and indeed the Cape Cod Crisp is believed to be a descendent of this watery offshoot, but by the mid-1920s it had returned to land and assumed the form we recognize today. Often mistaken for a species of cake by amatuer pie-spotters and dim-witted Nazi robots, the Boston Cream's closest genetic relatives include the Banana Cream, the Lemon Merangue, the New Hampshire Spotnitz, and the Mongolian Quiche.

Fontana hasn't jumped in, so I will. My good shrinking Lobster, Fontana wrote, "by analogy 'pie' cannot be inferred from 'Boston Cream Pie.'" That just means that something called a "pie" isn't necessarily a pie. There can be toy guns that are properly called "guns," but because there are toy guns that are not guns, the name itself can't be our guide.

Fafnir, you almost had me with the natural history, but you slipped with the Mongolian Quiche, which (Mongolia being a landlocked, desert country), couldn't be descended from an aquatic species. We're all friends here, but I'm wondering if you made some of that up.

Kip Manley

No need for such language, ogged. The Boston cream pie is like a dolphin that has returned to land, there to unbind its fins into fingers and do something about that tail: it was an aquatic creature, yes, but before that it was a land-locked, vaguely bovine creature. (In fact, I believe the shaggy ur-dolphin was, indeed, an habitue of the seedier of Mongolia's deserts; the latest paleontological evidence suggests it died out when its breeding grounds were overrun by the similarly extinct bald panda.) So there's nothing in the Boston cream pie's formerly aquatic nature that prevents it from clasping its cousin the landlocked Mongolian quiche to its genetic bosom. But! A dedicated pieologist will remember that the "Mongolian" quiche is something of a misnomer: in the 1930s, after all, a few breeding pairs of Mongolian gerbils were brought into the United States by way of Japan, and were so profligate that every one of the millions of gerbils in America today is descended from one or another of those Mayflower pioneers. At roughly the same time, a humble pie was proving unprecedentedly popular in the lunchcarts that serviced skyscraper construction crews in midtown Manhattan. One day at the height of this fad, a lunchcart impresario (his name lost in the mists of time) turned to one of his peers and remarked, "Well, danged if that 'quiche' ain't spreadin as fast as them Mongolian gerbils!" The improbable moniker stuck, bedeviling food critics ever since, and launching dozens of urban myths about the "landlocked" origins of a tasty comestible which, if memory serves, was first baked in Hoboken.


Wow, you guys. I learn more stuff from having this blog. I didn't know half this stuff!


Not only that, an "egg cream" contains neither eggs nor cream.

Similarly, Jack Daniels' Hard Cola contains neither Jack Daniels nor cola.

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